Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Minor League Ball Gameday discussion thread for Tuesday, August 30th. Here are some items worthy of consideration:
****We are now finished with the Top 20 PRE-SEASON prospect reviews, a process which took about two weeks longer than scheduled. The next step is to review the pre-season Sleeper Alert! list, then work up a revised Top 75 prospects list for the end of the season.
****I am also working on a revision of the Baseball Prospect Retrospective project from a couple of years ago.
****Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger hit two homers and drove in six yesterday for Double-A Tulsa. This gives him 22 homers on the season as part of a .264/.362/.486 slash line. That may not look outstanding on the surface but within the context of the 2016 Texas League his production has been quite robust, his wRC+ coming out at 144.
****Minnesota Twins prospect Nick Gordon went 5-for-5 with two runs scored yesterday, raising his slash line for High-A Fort Myers up to .296/.340/.393. That gives him a 115 wRC+ in the pitching-oriented Florida State League, very solid but especially so for a 20 year old shortstop.
2016-08-30T16:01:46-04:00This afternoon we will begin our review of all players with the "Sleeper Alert" Tag in the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book. The complete list was published here on March 18, 2016. We'll split the review into three sections, beginning with letters A through G. The purpose of a Sleeper Alert is to point out promising players ahead of the general knowledge curve. They are sometimes (but not always) well-known to close followers of their particular team, but haven't made their way into the broader baseball conversation yet. Past Sleeper Alert success stories include Jacob deGrom, Roenis Elias, Jeurys Familia, Mike Fiers, Tyler Lyons, Nathan Karns, David Phelps, Devon Travis,Trevor Rosenthal, Eugenio Suarez, and Michael Taylor. Top Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Tyler Glasnow was a Sleeper Alert player entering 2013, as he was transitioning from "interesting arm known to Pirates followers" to "top pitching prospect known to everyone." Let's see how the 2016 list looks right now. Remember, this list was put together in mid-March. Imani Abdullah, RHP, Dodgers: Highly projectable 19 year old has performed reasonably well in Low-A (3.61 ERA, 59/12 K/BB in 72 innings) but has made two trips to the disabled list. Long way off, but shows promise.Albert Abreu, RHP, Astros: Another Low-A success story with 3.50 ERA in 90 innings, 104/40 K/BB; just promoted to High-A; age 20, throws very hard but needs sharper command. Still promising.Telmito Agustin, OF, Nationals: 67 games in Low-A at age 19, hitting .269/.318/.384, 14 steals, 16 walks, 68 strikeouts in 219 at-bat; toolsy, fast, has some wiry strength, held his own in general but still raw. Tyler Alexander, LHP, Tigers: Age 22, impressive season in High-A/Double-A with 2.55 ERA, 100/17 K/BB in 130 innings, panning out so far. Logan Allen, LHP, Padres: Age 19, hampered with injury but effective when on the mound, 2.98 ERA in 51 innings in Low-A with 46/19 K/BB; results there so far but a long way off, durability? Eliezer Alvarez, 2B, Cardinals: Age 21, very good year in the Midwest League with .317/.401/.464, 33 doubles, 34 steals, 53/92 BB/K in 407 at-bats; defense needs a lot of work but he's shown considerable offensive ability.Anthony Banda, LHP, Diamondbacks: Age 23, excellent season in Double-A/Triple-A with 2.96 ERA in 143 innings, 145/52 K/BB and several very dominant starts; ready for a major league trial. Allen Cordoba, SS, Cardinals: Age 20, Panamanian shortstop outstanding in the Appalachian League so far, hitting .359/.423/.495 through 192 at-bats, 22 steals, excellent 20/19 BB/K ratio; glove is solid for his age; another guy who is far away but looks strong so far. Oscar De La Cruz, RHP, Cubs: Age 21, excellent since being activated from extended spring training, 2.65 ERA in 34 innings between short-season ball and Low-A with 48/9 K/BB; scouting reports match the stats; main question at this point is workload management/durability; talent seems clear. Enyel De Los Santos, RHP, Padres: Age 20, solid year between Low-A and High-A with 3.91 ERA, 90/38 K/BB in 115 innings, 105 hits; lively fastball with in-progress secondaries. Not a breakout yet but a good year. Bubba Derby, RHP, Brewers: Age 22; this one has not worked out; 5.52 ERA in 122 innings in High-A, 148 hits; decent 103/46 K/BB and usually throws strikes but has trouble getting the ball past hitters. Still a chance but doesn't have the upside of some of the others. Yandy Diaz, 3B, Indians: Polished 25 year old Cuban line drive hitter having a great year, hitting .315/.406/.441 between Double-A and Triple-A, 70 walks in 438 at-bats; still needs work on defense but have to like the pure hitting skills; more home run power may yet come.Mauricio Dubon, SS, Red Sox: Age 22, excellent season in High-A/Double-A at .322/.381/.457 with 29 steals, 43 walks, 59 strikeouts in 457 at-bats; has been overshadowed by other Bosox prospects but no arguing with the results at this point. Jose Espada, RHP, Blue Jays: Age 19, from Puerto Rico, 5.12 ERA in 51 innings in Appalachian League, 30/[...]
2016-08-30T13:25:44-04:00We reach the end of the pre-season prospect list review process with the Pittsburgh Pirates.Remember, this is the PRE-SEASON list.This is not a new list.These are pre-season grades.Discuss 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates prospect happenings in the comment section. This list was originally published March 12, 2016 1) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Grade A: 111 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 1.95 ERA, 136/64 K/BB, a mere 66 hits; missed time with shoulder issues but back in action now on limited pitch counts; sky is the limit if healthy. 2) Austin Meadows, OF, Grade A-: Hitting .277/.347/.550 between Double-A, Triple-A, and Low-A injury rehab; 10 homers, 15 steals, 32/60 BB/K in 232 at-bats; more power this year to go with already-present speed and defense. 3) Josh Bell, 1B, Grade B+: .295/.382/.468 in Triple-A, .400/.515/.600 in 25 major league at-bats; power is coming around, has always controlled strike zone well, ready for a full trial. 4) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Grade B: Until this year his results never quite matched the potential but that's changed; 3.39 ERA with 63/12 K/BB in 77 innings in the majors; don't see any reason why this will change as long as he remains healthy. 5) Harold Ramirez, OF, Grade B/B-: Hitting .311/.360/.407 with two homers, 22 walks, 66 strikeouts in 383 at-bats in Double-A at age 21; unusual mix of skills, no power but always hits for average; traded to Toronto Blue Jays at the deadline. 6) Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Grade B/B-: Age 19, first round pick in 2015, hit .263/.319/.393 in Low-A until getting hurt, just started rehab assignment in rookie ball; defense ahead of the bat at this point but I think he will show more power down the line. 7) Cole Tucker, SS, Grade B-: Age 20, first round pick in 2014 from high school in Phoenix, hitting .245/.313/.331 between Low-A and High-A, 31 walks, 67 strikeouts in 314 at-bats; very sharp defender and bat may improve as he matures. 8) Kevin Newman, SS, Grade B-: Age 22, first round pick from University of Arizona in 2015, hitting .328/.391/.435 with five homers, 37 walks, just 34 strikeouts in 372 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; reliable defense; needs more attention than he gets. 9) Alen Hanson, 2B, Grade B-: 432 at-bats in Triple-A hitting .266/.318/.389 with eight homers, 36 steals, 32 walks, 78 strikeouts; virtually identical to last year at the same level; adding defensive versatility with play in the outfield; still just 23, not sure how he fits into the picture with the Pirates. 10) Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Grade B-: Strong season in High-A, 2.77 in 123 innings, 122/53 K/BB, 117 hits; good fastball and slider combination, command can be erratic but stuff good enough to compensate, at least at this level. Reliever in the majors? 11) Kevin Kramer, 2B-3B, Grade B-: Age 22, second round pick out of UCLA in 2015, hitting .282/.357/.387 with 47 walks, 62 strikeouts in 432 at-bats; has played well defensively at second base with just eight errors and solid range; may show more power in time. 12) Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Grade B-: 20 starts in High-A, 4.32 ERA in 100 innings, 90/37 K/BB, 93 hits; I felt he was capable of better and a major breakout but it didn't really happen though he hasn't been bad; live-armed lefty controls southpaw hitters and may end up in pen eventually. 13) Nick Kingham, RHP, Grade B-: Working his way back from Tommy John and has performed well so far, 1.98 ERA in 41 innings between rookie ball rehab, Low-A, and High-A, 30/3 K/BB; looks like he did pre-injury which would make him a potential number four starter. 14) Steven Brault, LHP, Grade B-/C+: 71 innings in Triple-A, 3.91 ERA, 81/35 K/BB, 66 hits; made three MLB starts with 3.86 ERA in 14 innings, 12/7 K/BB; projects as a solid command-oriented number four starter and ready to contribute now in my opinion. 15) Elias Diaz, C, Grade C+/B-: Missed most of season with elbow injury but back in action now, hitting .261/.286/.295 in 88 at-bats in Triple-A; has thrown out eight of 13 runners so I thi[...]
2016-08-30T10:05:02-04:00"A Podcast To Be Named Later" Hosted by Chris Mitchell @CJMitch73 "A Podcast To Be Named Later" Host Chris Mitchell @CJMitch73 Guest: FanGraphs Eno Sarris Click this link to Listen --> http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bosconation/2016/08/25/a-podcast-to-be-named-later Today on "A Podcast To Be Named Later" Chris Mitchell @CJMitch73 and FanGraphs Staff Writer Eno Sarris discuss topics varying from the Blue Jays handling of Aaron Sanchez, Kris Bryant's swing and miss profile as a prospect and how he has developed as a Pro, Dylan Bundy's potential future and Byron Buxton's new ceiling. You can also find a link to this Podcast at MinorLeagueBall . com TOPICS ON THE AGENDA * Intro: --> Off the top of the Dome thoughts - AHOH * Players in Focus - --> Aaron Sanchez - Jays handling? --> Kris Bryant - his swing and miss profile. (124Ks in 123 games) -->
2016-08-30T09:03:02-04:00Approaching the completion of our pre-season prospect list review series, we finish up the American League with a look at the Oakland Athletics.Remember, this is the PRE-SEASON list.This is not a new list.These are pre-season grades.Discuss 2016 Athletics prospect news in the comments section. This list was originally published January 12, 2016 1) Franklin Barreto, SS, Grade A-: Age 20, hitting .280/.339/.411 with 10 homers, 29 steals, 36/90 BB/K in 497 at-bats in Double-A; range likely fits best at second base but I think there's every reason to be confident in his hitting long-term. Retains elite status. 2) Sean Manaea, LHP, Grade A-/B+: 19 starts in the majors, 4.53 ERA with 100/30 K/BB in 117 innings; assuming no health complications he should continue to improve from this performance level; could be a true ace in two years. 3) Matt Olson, 1B-OF, Grade B+: Hitting .230/.331/.419 with 34 doubles, 16 homers, 69 walks in 444 at-bats with 127 strikeouts; he's never going to hit for average and didn't get to his power as often against Triple-A pitching but remains promising at age 22. 4) Renato Nunez, 3B-1B, Grade B+/B: Also age 22, hitting .231/.282/.423 with 23 homers, 30 walks, 113 strikeouts in 485 at-bats in Triple-A; less patience than Olson but gets to his power a tad more often; defense at third remains shaky and he may wind up in outfield. Like Olson, I still like him but he's not quite ready yet. 5) Jacob Nottingham, C, Grade B+/B: Traded to Milwaukee Brewers for Khris Davis a month after this list was originally published; disappointing year in Double-A with .237/.301/.346 slash line, 10 homers, rough defense, still just 21 but transition has been difficult. 6) Chad Pinder, INF, Grade B: Hitting .258/.310/.425 in Triple-A with 14 homers, 25 walks, 108 strikeouts in 426 at-bats; promoted to majors last week and 4-for-22 so far; power and defensive versatility should give him some value despite contact concerns. 7) Matt Chapman, 3B, Grade B: 129 games between Double-A and Triple-A hitting .236/.329/.502 with 31 homers, 67 walks, 163 strikeouts in 488 at-bats; outstanding defense, plus power, only concern is contact/batting average. 8) Yairo Munoz, SS, Grade B-: Hitting .231/.273/.342 in Double-A; 19 walks and 68 strikeouts in 360 at-bats; lack of power a significant concern as a hitter though may improve at age 21; has played very well with the glove at short, second, and third. 9) Richie Martin, SS, Grade B-: First round pick from University of Florida in 2015, hitting .233/.326/.317 in High-A; solid on glove but hitting has been disappointing due to lack of strength; age 21. 10) Casey Meisner, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 21, erratic season in California League, 4.59 ERA in 114 innings in nine relief outings, 18 starts, 98/55 K/BB, 122 hits; hasn't shown the same type of command he demonstrated last season in Mets system before coming over for Tyler Clippard; potential remains intriguing. 11) Daniel Mengden, RHP, Grade C+/B-: 17 starts in Double-A/Triple-A with 1.46 ERA, 95/29 K/BB in 98 innings, 69 hits, that's excellent obviously; made nine starts in the majors with 5.73 ERA, 49/26 K/BB in 49 innings, 52 hits; note maintenance of strong K rate despite major league troubles, with more adjustment time he can be mid-rotation arm. 12) Raul Alcantara, RHP, Grade C+/B-: 24 starts between Double-A and Triple-A with 3.58 ERA, 103/30 K/BB in 131 innings but 30/3 K/BB in last 40 innings; has always thrown hard but secondary pitches have steadily improved, as has his command. Don't overlook him. 13) Dillon Overton, LHP, Grade C+: 126 innings in Triple-A with 3.29 ERA, 105/31 K/BB; hit hard with 10.97 ERA in five major league starts but more chances should come; fourth starter projection. 14) Sean Nolin, LHP, Grade C+: Traded to Brewers after this list was published, out all year with elbow injury. 15) Ryon Healy, 3B-1B, Grade C+: Very impressive campaign, .326/.382/.558 in Double-A/Triple[...]
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Monday, August 28th edition of the Minor League Ball Gameday discussion thread. Here are some items worthy of your consideration today.
****Not a prospect of course but he's still just 25 years old; Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles fanned nine in seven innings against the New York Yankees yesterday, walking nobody. He has a 19/3 K/BB over 20 innings in his last three starts and now has a 140/38 K/BB in 140 innings on the season.
I've liked Gausman since his days at LSU and I know a lot of you feel the same way. What's your take? Is he having his final breakthrough? Will he become a genuine ace? Or will he continue along as an above-average starting pitcher who never QUITE turns into a dominator?
****Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospect Jose De Leon fanned 13 for Triple-A Oklahoma City last night. He now has a 2.61 ERA in 86 innings with an amazing 111/20 K/BB and keep in mind that's in the Pacific Coast League.
****At The HardBall Times, Shane Tourtellotte looks at how it is now easier for a team to go from worst to first (and vice versa) compared to most of baseball history.
2016-08-29T15:00:20-04:00We're almost done with the pre-season prospect list reviews. Let's look at the Colorado Rockies. Remember, this is the PRE-SEASON list.This is not a new list.These are pre-season grades.Discuss 2016 Rockies prospect news in the comments section. This list was originally published March 8, 2016 1) Jon Gray, RHP, Grade A-/B+: 23 starts in the majors, 4.61 ERA with 142/46 K/BB in 133 innings; can't complain about any of that, a highly-credible performance for any Coors Field pitcher especially a rookie. 2) Brendan Rodgers, SS, Grade B+/A-: Age 20, first round pick from Florida high school in 2015, hitting .282/.343/.482 with 19 homers, 35 walks, 96 strikeouts in 440 at-bats in Low-A; solid glovework at both shortstop and second base; beware sharp home/road split, .982 OPS in Asheville, .682 on the road. 3) Ryan McMahon, 3B, Grade B+: Uneasy transition to Double-A, hitting .242/.327/.396 with 11 homers, 53 walks, 150 strikeouts; Eastern League is much more difficult than California League in terms of both competition and environment; season split between third base and first base. Detailed reports will be interesting to study this fall. 4) David Dahl, OF, Grade B+/B: Excellent season, .314/.394/.596 in Double-A/Triple-A then .325/.370/.548 in the majors; has some strike zone issues against MLB pitching but it hasn't hurt him much yet; has a great chance to adapt and thrive long-term. 5) Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Grade B+/B: 22 starts in Triple-A, 4.02 ERA with 122/44 K/BB in 119 innings; just promoted to majors; could follow Jon Gray's footsteps into major league success in 2017. 6) Dom Nunez, C, Grade B: Age 21, this is what I wrote in March: aggressive ranking and grade but I think he will be widely seen as one of the top catching prospects in baseball six months from now; that has NOT panned out, hitting .244/.325/.374 in the Cal League, has thrown out 40% of runners; maybe next year for the breakout but looking like a bad gamble on my part. 7) Trevor Story, SS, Grade B/B-: Hit .272/.341/.567 with 27 homers, 35 walks, 130 strikeouts in 372 at-bats in the major until going down with torn thumb ligament; power, defense biggest positives; don't expect batting championships but should have long and successful career. 8) Tom Murphy, C, Grade B/B-: Strong campaign in Triple-A, .330/.358/.663, 19 homers, few walks but otherwise quite productive, defense still a work in progress. 9) Raimel Tapia, OF, Grade B/B-: 123 games between Double-A and Triple-A, hitting .325/.360/.457 with eight homers, 21 steals, 27 walks, 58 strikeouts in 508 at-bats; hits .300 in his sleep. 10) Antonio Senzatela, RHP, Grade B/B-: Seven starts in Double-A with 1.82 ERA, 27/9 K/BB in 35 innings before going on disabled list in June with undisclosed injury. 11) Forrest Wall, 2B, Grade B/B-: Age 20, hitting .267/.331/.359 in High-A with six homers, 21 steals, 38 walks, 92 strikeouts in 435 at-bats; not a great year and not as good as his reputation; remains error-prone at second base; young enough to rebound quickly. 12) Miguel Castro, RHP, Grade B-: Plagued with injuries and command problems, 6.14 ERA in 15 MLB innings, 10.34 ERA in 16 Triple-A innings; outlook unclear at the moment but still just 21. 13) Kyle Freeland, LHP, Grade B-: 25 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, 4.04 ERA with 104/41 K/BB in 156 innings, 161 hits; has held his own in difficult Albuquerque/PCL environs; at this point he projects as a fourth starter for me. 14) German Marquez, RHP, Grade B-: 24 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, 3.05 ERA with 145/39 K/BB in 154 innings at age 21; this guy deserves a lot more attention than he's received; Coors fill factor in on valuation of course but on his own terms he is a very significant sleeper prospect. 15) Ryan Castellani, RHP, Grade B-: 163 innings in High-A at age 20 with 139/49 K/BB, 148 hits, 1.47 GO/AO, fastball in mid-90s; another very pr[...]
2016-08-29T12:02:07-04:00Pushing forward with our pre-season prospect list reviews, we turn our gaze towards the Philadelphia Phillies.Remember, this is the PRE-SEASON list.This is not a new list.These are pre-season grades.Discuss current Phillies events in the comments section. This list was originally published February 6th, 2016 1) J.P. Crawford, SS, Grade A/A-: Split season between Double-A and Triple-A, hitting combined .256/.360/.342 with 12 steals, 72 walks, 72 strikeouts in 442 at-bats; defense and strike zone judgment best attributes along with overall tools, youth; hasn't shown much power this year but more should come in time. Remains an elite prospect. 2) Nick Williams, OF, Grade B+: Hitting .265/.294/.434, 31 doubles, 12 homers, 19 walks, 126 strikeouts in 468 at-bats in Triple-A; significant slippage in strike zone judgment compared to last season but still just 22 years old, has time to adapt. 3) Cornelius Randolph, OF, Grade B: Missed time with injuries but hitting .284/.357/.365 in 222 at-bats in Low-A at age 19; would like to see more power as he advances and I think that can and will come, pure hitting skills look solid. 4) Jake Thompson, RHP, Grade B: Strong season in Triple-A, 21 starts with 11-5, 2.50 ERA, 87/37 in 130 innings; has been hit hard in the majors so far with 9.78 ERA in four starts; not much left to prove in the minors, just needs experience at age 22; still has workhorse projection. 5) Andrew Knapp, C, Grade B: 102 games in Triple-A, hitting .262/.325/.379; 34 walks, 101 strikeouts in 385 at-bats; defense still needs work particularly with receiving; loss of power in Triple-A is somewhat discouraging at age 24 but too soon to give up. 6) Roman Quinn, OF, Grade B/B-: Went on disabled list with a concussion yesterday; was hitting .282/.359/.432 in Double-A with 29 steals, 30 walks, 67 strikeouts in 280 at-bats; now has two strong half-seasons in Double-A on his resume; health has been the biggest problem. 7) Mark Appel, RHP, Grade B/B-: Went on disabled list initially with reported shoulder trouble, but then had surgery to deal with elbow bone spur, out for season. 8) Jorge Alfaro, C, Grade B-: Hitting .279/.330/.420 in Double-A with dramatically improved defense; has always had the defensive tools but skills to use them have taken huge leap forward; power bat still held back a bit by shaky plate discipline, still just 23. 9) Darnell Sweeney, INF-OF, Grade B-: Hitting .230/.297/.342 in Triple-A with 12 steals, 37/94 BB/K in 383 at-bats; still has really interesting physical tools but skills seem stagnant and he's 25 now; if I were running a team I would see him as a buy-low candidate; I have no objective evidence that he'll figure things out but subjectively I think it is possible. 10) Franklyn Kilome, RHP, Grade B-: 22 starts in Low-A with 4.06 ERA, 120/50 K/BB in 109 innings; fastball can be electric in upper-90s but still learning to pitch at age 21, relief may be ultimate destination. 11) Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Grade B-: Power blossoming in Double-A; hitting .277/.369/.566, 37 homers, 112 RBI, 64 walks, 122 strikeouts in 470 at-bats at age 23; a better version of Darin Ruf? 12) Zach Eflin, RHP, Grade B-/C+: 11 starts in the majors with 5.54 ERA, 31/17 K/BB in 63 innings; out for season with knee surgery; have to like the strike-throwing ability but may not show enough dominance to be more than a fifth starter. 13) Ben Lively, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Very good year in high minors, combined 2.79 ERA, 129/42 K/BB in 165 innings, 118 hits between Double-A and Triple-A, rebounding after erratic 2015; throws four pitches for strikes, ready for major league trial. 14) Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Grade B-/C+: 23 starts between High-A and Double-A, 4.32 ERA with 115/28 K/BB in 115 innings, 131 hits; another strike-thrower who must be fine to succeed but often is; four/five starter potential. 15) Tyler[...]